Such an Exciting Time to Be an American
August 2, 2018


I was sick yesterday. I don’t feel much better today, but someone has to bring you these all-important links. No, no, it’s fine. I’m sure I’ll make it through the day. Somehow. Our boss Robyn Blumner was the guest on the Secular Jihadists podcast discussing our Secular Rescue program, which they call a “lifesaving, herAoic initiative.” …

That Brimming Potpourri
July 31, 2018


Jeff Sessions forms a kind of Christian-privilege SWAT team, the DOJ’s “Religious Liberty Task Force.” The Morning Heresy Editorial Board’s official response: “Barf.” CFI’s response is a little more thought out: Sessions’ enthusiasm for discrimination and the formation of this vindictive task force exposes his extremist, Religious Right agenda. [. . .] He plainly seeks …

Bigfoot and the Overton Window
July 30, 2018


Let’s get right to the top story. Really, the only story that matters right now. The top-line, above-the-fold, story-of-the-century: In the great battle for control of Congress in the 2018 elections, Leslie Cockburn, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in Virginia’s 5th District, has called out her Republican opponent Denver Riggleman for being a “devotee” …

Ponzier Than Ponzi
July 27, 2018


Alex Jones’ YouTube channel has four of his videos removed from YouTube. Casey Newton at The Verge reports: Two videos contained hate speech against Muslims, and a third contained hate speech against transgender people, sources said. A fourth showed a child who was pushed to the ground by an adult man, under the headline “How …

Investigating Claims of Religion
July 26, 2018


I have been a “miracle detective” for much of my half-century “paranormal” career. In the 2007 movie, The Reaping, Hilary Swank played such a character based, in part, on my work; she read one of my books, and Warner Bros. even invited me to meet her and watch some of the filming. Paul Kurtz (1925–2012)—the …

Have Dominion Over the Fish
July 26, 2018


I’m leading off with this because it’s so cool: Researchers have found a whole crap-ton of liquid water on Mars. Loren Grush at The Verge reports: It’s possible this aquifer stays a liquid all year round, which is good news for habitability “It constitutes the closest thing to a habitat we’ve found on Mars,” says …

Religion in Caves, God Flunks Engineering School
July 25, 2018


  Is there any evidence that our closest relatives (living or extinct) harbored religious beliefs? —Al Not to my knowledge, though if anyone has any info about Neanderthal or any other cousin practicing rudimentary religion, I’d be interested too. Of course, early humans had nothing of the organized religion you see in more modern history …

The Devil’s Modus Operandi
July 25, 2018


Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the guy in charge of the Catholic Church’s responses to sexual abuse by clergy, says his church needs to improve its process and open up communications with victims, saying: Failure to take these actions will threaten and endanger the already weakened moral authority of the Church and can destroy the trust required …

How We Imaginatively and Collectively Represent the Existence and Action of Consciousness Across Time
July 24, 2018


This is…complicated: At The Atlantic, Sigal Samuel reports on an effort to socially-engineer through software, a political simulation initiative called the Modeling Religion Project that uses artificial intelligence and “virtual people” to predict the outcomes of various policy prescriptions as they relate to religion (and is expandable to various other realms of study). Anyway, one …

The Babel Array
July 23, 2018


There may be no one with a deeper understanding of the role of the U.S. judicial system in church-state separation and the equal status of nonbelievers, particularly in regards to the Supreme Court, than our board chair Eddie Tabash. And he’s declaring a four-alarm, all-hands-on-deck, DEFCON-1, separate-the-saucer-section emergency over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh: …